George Rodrigue joins effort to save oak

by Mary Tutwiler

Tolkien would have been proud. He who penned the giant land-walking guardians of the trees, The Ents, is the literary progenitor of the newly formed group Guardian of the Oaks. The group has rallied around a 250 or so year old live oak in Youngsville that stands in the way of a planned roundabout. The tree and its proponents have about 30 days now to raise enough money, $250,000, to move the ancient tree out of the way of vehicular progress.

Enter another giant, this one of the art world: George Rodrigue. Before his work was haunted by blue dogs, spooky dark oak trees often dominated Rodrigue's paintings of Cajun life. Rodrigue is throwing in his lot with the Guardians of the Oaks, preparing a painting of the tree which will result in a series of prints to be sold as a fund raiser for the Moving of the Tree.

Rodrigue is slated to be in Youngsville doing some preliminary work for the painting at 2 p.m. today (weather permitting). Guardians of the Oaks will be there as well. It's a fine moment to show solidarity, umbrellas, duck boots and all. If you can't make it, you can contribute to the effort by sending contributions to TreesAcadiana. It's also a great time to plant a tree, the urban forest is constantly under siege and every new sapling helps.